Stephen Colbert Joins Adaptation Of One Of The Greatest Fantasy Series

Stephen Colbert's production company, Spartina Productions, is helping to bring The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny to life.

By Mark McKee | Published

Stephen Colbert is the next name to produce a classic fantasy franchise for television, with the late-night host signing on to develop and produce an adaptation of The Chronicles of Amber. According to Variety, the host of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report will executive produce the fantasy series along with his production company, Spartina Productions. Colbert and his production company will collaborate with Robert Kirkman and Skybound Entertainment.

The Chronicles of Amber is the next franchise of novels in a fantasy world that joins the likes of Game of Thrones and The Lord of the Rings with a television series adaptation. The franchise comprises ten novels released between 1970 and 1991 by author Roger Zelazny. There is also a handful of short stories and four prequel books, leaving Stephen Colbert plenty of content to adapt The Chronicles of Amber for multiple seasons. 

The story follows Corwin, a man who awakens with no memory of who he is and discovers he is of royal birth and can travel between alternate realities, called shadows. As he reintroduces himself to his life after a long absence, he comes face to face with the Courts of Chaos, the opposing magical force in the area between realities. The first five novels, and likely what Stephen Colbert and company are looking to adapt, are narrated by Corwin and were collected into what came to be called The Chronicles of Amber

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The second five novels are known as The Merlin Cycle and follow Merlin, the son of Corwin. Roger Zelazny then released six short stories that spanned from 1994 to 2005, and while fans have proposed a number of orders for them to be read, the author himself stated that the most recent in 2005 is the first. Finally, John Gregory Betancourt wrote and published five prequel novels from 2002 to 2005 that were authorized by the estate and followed Corwin’s father, Oberon. 

Stephen Colbert isn’t the only big fantasy fan that loves The Chronicles of Amber, George R. R. Martin has said that the franchise had some influence on his Game of Thrones franchise. If they are anything alike, Colbert and Kirkman have a possible goldmine on their hands, with Martin saying that he didn’t understand why the franchise hadn’t already been adapted but had hoped for it in the future. 

Colbert’s Spartina doesn’t have anything under its banner yet that has any success outside of his pair of late-night shows, and he hopes this series will put them on the map. Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment has the credibility to help Stephen Colbert launch The Chronicles of Amber since they are best known for their two massive successes, The Walking Dead and the animated Invincible

Fantasy has always been a goldmine when done well, and book adaptations are some of the most successful in history. The Lord of the RingsHarry Potter, and Game of Thrones all prove that the genre is very much desired by the fans. One thing Stephen Colbert will have to focus on with The Amber Chronicles is the fan base, as they are always the most critical.